Commercial truck wrecks are very different from traditional accidents; beginning with the relative sizes of the vehicles themselves. A large 18-wheeler can max out at 40 tons. No matter how large your pickup or SUV, it doesn’t stand a chance against an out of control big-rig.
When determining who to file a civil claim or lawsuit against, it should be noted that most accidents find the driver; and by association, their trucking employer, liable for damages and wrongful deaths caused by truck accidents.
Don’t Let Negligent Trucking Companies Ruin Your Life
Common negligent actions on the part of truck drivers include this list.
- Inability to stop in time: Larger – and heavier – trucks require longer distances to stop
- Jackknifing: When a big rig comes to a sudden stop; often the 18-wheeler’s center of gravity shifts and the driver cannot correct in time. Then the trailer and cab move toward each other from opposite directions.
- Improper turns: Because semis are so long they need a lot of clearance to make a turn this requires them to swing widely out into oncoming traffic to make their turns. Sometimes they don’t swing out widely enough, and clip vehicles in the direction of the turn.
- Fatigue: Even though there are specific Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines that regulate the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel during a 24-hour period, they can be violated.
All civil claims against trucking accident defendants are based on negligence of any, some, or all of the following:
- The driver
- The company that employ’s the driver if it owns the truck and is responsible for its maintenance, upkeep and the safety of the vehicle
- The company that loaded the truck if it is not the trucker’s employer; if the shifting of the trucks cargo caused the accident
- A company that might have manufactured a defective part which was responsible for causing the accident through a product liability lawsuit
If A Trucking Company Doesn’t Handle Their Business Correctly, Innocent Drivers Pay the Price
It should be noted that if the trucking company outsourced vehicle maintenance to a service company, or the company sent the driver to another company to pick up cargo that was improperly loaded, a manufacturing company’s defective part contributed to the accident, any of these entities could be held liable in a third party lawsuit, in addition to the driver and the trucking company.
Damages that could be awarded to injured plaintiffs include these.
- All medical bills and associated expenses; including rehabilitation
- Lost income, including disability reimbursement
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for all property destroyed or damaged in the accident
- Wrongful death and punitive damages – if either apply
Pennsylvania’s, statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury: [§42 Pa. Con. Stat. Ann (5524)]. But if you were hit by a truck owned by a government entity, you must file within six months of the accident.
Focus on recuperation and allow Cordisco & Saile LLC to handle the paperwork associated with filing a truck accident claim. We also can compile evidence to prove which party is at fault and argue to get the maximum allowable damages due to our clients. Contact us at (215) 642-2335.